Brother Tom Sheehy served 9 years as Executive Director for the Dodge County, GA Habitat affiliate before becoming a devoted Habitat volunteer. He volunteered with two different Tennessee affiliates before coming to volunteer with the Weaverville ReStore shortly after it opened in 2019. In a normal year, much of his time (February-November to be exact), is spent providing “Christian hiker hospitality” to hikers on the Appalachian Trail by offering refreshments, a friendly face, and often just an ear to listen to the trials and challenges that may have inspired hikers to hit the trail in the first place. However, 2020 changed almost everything for almost everyone, and once Covid-19 hit and trails were shut down, Brother Tom was no longer able to minister to hikers for the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, at the Weaverville ReStore, volunteers were no longer able to serve due to safety concerns, and the full load of ReStore operations fell on staff alone and soon proved to be overwhelming and discouraging. In order to continue volunteering, Brother Tom willingly accepted the strictest terms of safety precautions-wearing double gloves, double masks, and occupying a separate, partitioned area to process donations in a socially distanced way. In this manner he has been volunteering with the Weaverville ReStore for much of the day, most days of the week. Words truly fail to convey the difference Brother Tom’s generosity has made for the ReStore and its staff over the last year.
Thanks to Brother Tom, the art wall stays full and vibrant. Because of his dedication (and love for books!) the bookstore shelves are always full to the brim and perfectly organized. And thanks to his handyman skills (he’s no stranger to a Habitat build site!), the lighting wall is fully wired and each donated chandelier and pendant is hung up and illuminated on the display. These are areas that, with the diligent attention of Brother Tom, consistently draw in customers and produce revenue for Asheville Habitat’s building programs.
From his time as E.D. in Dodge County, Georgia, Brother Tom knows firsthand what it’s like to wear multiple hats in order to accomplish a mission. Through volunteering with local libraries and the community café, serving hikers on the Appalachian Trail and, most recently, devoting his time to keeping the Weaverville ReStore looking fresh and full for its shoppers, Brother Tom is most certainly fulfilling his mission of full-time ministry with Glenmary Home Missions in various capacities. And, occasionally, Brother Moses (pictured left) comes along to contribute his support as well!